University Prep, Dean of ECE Resident 2022-23 (Denver, CO)

Denver, Colorado, United States


Date published: 10-May-2022

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Position: Dean of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Resident


Our Mission: 


Building a foundation of skills, knowledge and character, University Prep educates every K-5 scholar for a  four-year college degree and life of opportunity.


The Opportunity: 


In August of 2019, the University Prep Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan for the next five years (through 2023-24) focused on two goals. One, achieve true excellence at our existing campuses (ensuring academic and character results for all children that fully align with the ambitious expectations of our mission). Two, open two additional outstanding elementary campuses. The Dean of ECE Resident has the opportunity to engage in a 1-year residency with our organization in preparation for opening one of U Prep’s new campuses as a founding leader. That campus, proposed to open in the fall of 2022, will be the first U Prep school to house a Pre-K program, serving both 3 and 4-year-olds. In a community where there is a need for four times the number of ECE seats then currently available, this role is not only an opportunity to play a part in filling a portion of that gap, but to design and lead a high-quality Pre-K program from the ground up. 


Why you’ll love us:  


"We have been a part of the University Prep family from the beginning. Over the past school years, I've been so proud to see my child grow, learn, and get the support that I feel every child should receive.” – U Prep Parent


At U Prep, we’re doing things differently. Three major focus areas drive our work each day, ensuring we stay true to the promises we make to every one of our families – a genuine life of opportunity for their child.


Academics - Academic excellence for every child sits at the center for our work. U Prep offers all scholars challenging, college prep content, along with the support and encouragement necessary to master it. We believe every child will achieve greatness when they are equally challenged, supported and loved.


Character - A focus on growing good students and good people is at the heart of our mission. U Prep knows that to succeed in life, scholars must have a strong and confident character.  Our schools go beyond a foundation of academic skills and knowledge with the development of our PREP values - Pride, Responsibility, Enthusiasm, and Perseverance.


Vision - You can only dream as far as you can see - we make sure all of our students see what’s truly possible. All children deserve the chance to see the opportunities that live outside of their classrooms. Within our K - 5 experience, our scholars are exposed to a range of colleges and careers that will become their reality.


Achieving big dreams takes hard work and a team effort. Our approach to education and the genuine partnership we build with our families means the possibilities for U Prep scholars are unlimited. 


Why we’ll love you:  


You love children. You are deeply committed to working with young people and are unwavering in your optimism about what they are capable of. You believe love for a child is best shown through delivering on the promise of a consistent, high quality education in which all students achieve.


You're mission and values-driven. You are committed to educational equity for all children and are deeply aligned with the core values that drive our team and our organization.


You love working with people. Your experience has shown you that an investment in people and culture can lead to transformative change in an organization. You proactively build meaningful and authentic relationships, which positions you to effectively support and motivate those around you. You push people to achieve more than they could or would on their own because you care about them. 


You want to be the best. You care deeply about mastering your craft and take full ownership over your growth and development. You get a little better every day because you are invested in truly becoming the best at what you do.

You never give up. When things feel impossible, you roll up your sleeves, ready to do anything necessary to make them a reality because you know failure is not an option. You are calm and level-headed with an unyielding sense of optimism. You take on challenges and find a way to get to the finish line. 


You operate with deep humility. While you carry skills and knowledge from previous experiences, you humbly reflect on new learning and are open to change if it means getting better. You ask questions, listen, and learn from families, team members and other leaders.


What you’ll do: 


        Embody the mission and vision of our organization.

        Live by the five core values that guide our work together (Educate our Scholars, Serve our Families, Serve the Team, Walk the Walk and My Child).

        Participate in multi-day and/or multi-week local and national residencies to learn best practices in leadership and areas of Pre-K specific content that may be of greatest value for personal development and the design of the Pre-K program. 

o   *The Dean of ECE Resident will spend time (up to two weeks) inside and outside of Denver observing and learning from the strongest leaders (and programs) in the ECE space. 

        Lead the charge in researching and selecting the curricular program that will best serve our anticipated student population and effectively align with our K – 5 programming (along with our organizational mission).

        Build a clear and cohesive Vision of Excellence (VoE) for instruction in 3 and 4-year-old classrooms that ensures all stakeholders (teachers, families, children, etc.) understand what excellence should look, feel and sound like. 

o   Where appropriate, work to align the ECE VoE with our existing VoE for the K – 5 program. o Ensure specific supports for working with English Language Leaners (ELL) and students with special needs are deeply embedded in program design (as part of these efforts, build an ELL support plan that promotes bilingualism and honors the native language of many of the students and families being served). 

        Develop metrics, evaluation and tracking tools that are responsive to children’s needs and accurately capture the most important indicators and predictors of long-term success. 

o   Using both best practices in the field and innovation, determine how to ensure ECE programming is thoughtfully data-driven in alignment with K – 5 programming while recognizing what is and is not developmentally appropriate.

        Create a professional development plan for teachers and paraprofessionals that includes a summer training program in advance of the school year, and a school year PD scope & sequence.

o   In addition, design 1:1 coaching structures for Pre-K teachers and paraprofessionals that ensures they receive the supports needed to develop their craft and successfully implement curriculum and programming in alignment with the VoE.

        As part of the design process, ensure social emotional development and behavior supports are effectively embedded in the student experience and further equip children to be “kinder ready.”

        Guide the submission and approval process for acquiring necessary ECE licensures at the state and local level (*Will have the direct support of Central Office team members in this endeavor). 

        Research all aspects of ongoing site evaluation from ECE governing bodies and ensure a plan is in place to successfully engage in those site visits that result in positive ratings. 

        Establish meaningful relationships with community leaders in the ECE space along with families who have young children who may ultimately attend the ECE programming (set the stage for future relationships).

        Work alongside of founding school leaders (Principal Resident and Dean of Operations Resident) along with Central Office team members, families and members of the local community to successfully launch the new campus.

        Engage in leadership development opportunities within and outside of U Prep that enhance both technical and adaptive skills.

        Work alongside of U Prep’s Director of Talent and the Principal Resident to ensure recruitment and selection of candidates to join the ECE program (i.e. teachers, paraprofessionals) have the credentialing, experiences, attributes and skill-sets necessary to bring the ECE vision of excellence to life. 


Position Requirements: 


        Full commitment to our mission, vision and Core Identity Statement

        4+ years of leadership and teaching experience in an urban environment with a demonstrated track record of success Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree

        Official Large Center Director Qualification Verification Letter from the Division of Early Care and Learning OR evidence of a process in place for a Transitory Qualified Director Letter, which may be received when 1 one of 5 required classes are completed, and allows you to operate as a Director while completing your coursework o *We need a Qualified Center Director for this role and are happy to work with you to obtain this qualification should you have a pathway for doing so that meets the timeline of the position 

o   For details on who qualifies as a Director and how to qualify, please visit Colorado Office of Early Childhood

        Deep knowledge of and experience with ECE programming 

        Successful experience in leadership and management of both adults and children

        Meaningful experience in project management

        Ability to multi-task and prioritize

        Ability to assess data, find trends, and use information to make strategic decisions

        Ability to work in person/in a school building. This is not a telecommuting role. 

        Excellent verbal and written skills along with strong organizational skills

        “Whatever it takes” attitude & tenacious work ethic

        Openness to feedback, desire to continue development as a professional, and willingness to take responsibility for scholar outcomes and achievement

        Bilingual preferred (English/Spanish)


Compensation & Benefits:  


Our package includes, but is not limited to the following:


        Highly competitive salary within the local market ($60,000-75,000).

        Participation in the Colorado PERA retirement program, including PERA 401K option

        100% of medical benefit covered for all employees, and options to elect dental, vision, critical illness and  accident benefits.

o   Up to $600 in contributions to a personal wellness account

        Weekly personalized coaching and supports

        Costs covered for all travel and professional development engagements outside of U Prep (i.e. trainings, extended residencies, etc.) 


Apply Today: visit:



As an equal opportunity employer, University Prep hires without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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